It’s been a busy week for the concert-goers as Freeborn Hall hosted two shows in two days: First the Canadian identicals Tegan andSara with the Aussies,An Horse; then Death Cab for Cutie and The Cave Singers came.
Attending two back-to-back concerts, similar in taste and most likely drawing an overlapping crowd, might make some double-nighters feel like experts. I went to the front of the line at Death Cab for Cutie and was advised to sign up my friends to take shifts waiting in line. When I askedsophomore communication major Alexandra Garabedian if she was a really dedicated fan since she had been camping out since10:30a.m., she threw me a curveball.
Garabedian said she had attended Tegan and SaraonMonday night and could barely see anything from where she was standing in the crowd and wasn’t about to take any chances tonight.Not the answer I expected for the amount of effort she exerted,but valuable nonetheless.
It’s good to build on past experiences and previous mistakes in order to improve your concert experience,and it’s also good to live without regrets.So before I die,I opt to check off allitems of this list of “Things to Do (at Concerts) Before I Die:“
Get the shit beat out of me.Crowd surfing isn’t as extreme as a full-blown ass beat,right? I want to be stared at not because I am showing off my boobs,orfor yelling, “Ben [Gibbard],I want your body!” or for getting pulled up to the microphone by flailing arms.I’d rather be mid-crowd with a circle of spectators witnessing my physical downfall leading to an upward earning of street cred.After thatwhen you see me at the next concert,you’ll know I’m too legit to quit.
Consistently wear earplugs.All those years of basement punk shows and piercing drone metal are getting to me.To this day I leave a concert,go home and for a solid24hours hear a high-pitched beep.On my list of expensive but health-required things to buy,like an electric toothbrush,is a good pair of earplugs so I can hear and enjoy music until I’m in retirement.
Successfully request a song.Often people yell dumb shit from the crowd,yes.And more often people yell songs to the band that are either too predictable and will obviously get played,or are just ridiculous,like “Free Bird.”
But being the hardcore fan I am,knowing discographies upon discographies,b-sides and every cover that band has ever played,I hope to someday shout out the right song.And that band will hear my voice,reach an epiphany and say, “Alright,this one’s for you!”
Bring my momto a concert.There were points in life where you were lucky if your parent decided to only drop you off at the front of the venue (or around the corner for the even luckier).
But typically for the ages of10-17mom or dad will accompany you to the show,then stand in the back or close by,doing his or her own little dance moves.I no longer want to poke fun at that kid,I want tobe that kid.Once I watched a mother and her grown daughter dance like crazy to the Killers side by side,having the time of their lives,and I realized I can share the experience with my momma,too.
Wear a T-shirt I bought at the show.I always hate that person – the clueless fan that buys merchandise and puts it on immediately,for one reason or another.There are certain rules about this practice,such as you can put it on if you’re cold or without a bag.You may also wear an item if it’s vintage merch at a Creedence show or something.Again,street cred is important.
Thankfully,I have some things already accomplished:crying during a show,cutting everyone in line,getting broken up with at a show,getting a shout out from the band.
One thing I’ll never do,however,is be that obnoxious kid with the digital camera shooting at a million flashes per minute.You know,the one taking pictures of myself with my friends as we wait for the band to come on,then blind them as I bounce up and down screaming.Like Tegan mentioned on Monday night,this behavior is truly a new-school thing.
NICOLE L.BROWNER,an avid concert-goer,fanatic and cynic,can be reached at email@example.com.XXX